It is time for another subscription box review. Today we will be looking at the Mask Mistress box. It is a newer sheet mask subscription box. This will most likely be the last beauty related subscription box review for the year, everything else will be in other categories unless something arrives as PR to review.
If you haven’t seen it already, make sure to check out the last subscription box review of Macy’s Beauty Box. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
Service Name: Mask Mistress (This is from NY KBeauy, but they have more than one subscription box you can get.)
Price: $14.99 a month plus shipping. I do believe the shipping cost is the same for everyone, at least everyone in the US, as they ship in a priority box. I paid $7.55 for shipping.
Where Is It Available: This box ships worldwide.
Who To Get It For: Anyone, including yourself, who loves skin care. Especially for those who love sheet mask, K beauty in specific.
What You Get: You are to get 10 Korean sheet masks every month. (They don’t specifically say that you get extras, but as you will see there were some bonus items sent with my package.)
Drawbacks: I didn’t feel like there were a lot of drawbacks for me, but I can see a couple of things that might be for some people. If you are looking for a mask subscription filled with things that you can then easily pick up at your local Ulta, Sephora, or other US retailer that carries sheet masks if you like them, this may not be the subscription for you. Also if you are looking for a customized mask experience based on your skin type, this isn’t going to be it, you will find a more general use types of masks in this subscription.
The Details: At least for right now this subscription arrives in a priority mail box.
This isn’t uncommon for newer boxes, so don’t be surprised if this changes later on. But do keep in mind that once subscription boxes start paying for their own printed boxes, while they may be cute, that often runs the price of the subscription up. (Side note: Before I get concerned emails: no, that isn’t my home address showing on that package. It’s a mailbox that anyone can find on my blog contact page.)
When I got the box open, this is how everything came out. Everything was wrapped up in this pink tissue paper with Korean writing on it. And one of the bonus items was at the bottom semi wrapped in the paper. A thank you sticker was holding it all closed.
Now lets take a closer look at the individual items sent. As always I will link to any of the items I find for sale individually in case you are interested in purchasing an item rather than the subscription. This box did not have a detail card with prices of the products, so there really isn’t anything to compare it to on that end.
This is a Honey Lip Mask from Choosy. I looked for this everywhere I shop, the only place that I could find them to purchase was at Amazon, and so that is where I have linked to. On Amazon a 5 pack sells for $14.99 with free prime shipping. But I will say that if you can find them somewhere else, they will probably be cheaper. This brand is sold at essentially a Korean dollar store, ant they cost about a dollar or less in Korea. In fact the one sent to me still had a sticker on it with the price. It had 1000 Korean won. Converted, that equals to 88 cents in the US.
This is a Lemon Slice Mask from Kocostar. Again, the only place I could find this currently in stock was on Amazon. There you can buy a two pack for $7.22. From what little I know about this brand, the price seems accurate.
We received a second slice mask in this months Mask Mistress box. This time it is a Tomato Slice Mask from Kocostar. And as you might have already guessed, I could only find this in stock on Amazon. There you will find a two pack for $7.00.
This is the Extreme Cream Mask from Real Barrier. YesStyle has this mask available in three options, a pack of one, five or ten. One sells for $4.41, but if you are going for the ten pack it is cheaper to purchase over on Amazon.
So this mask has very little English on the packaging, but it did have enough to be able to search for it. The name on the back says this is ON: The Body X KAKAO Friends. There is a picture on the front that indicates this is for moisture. I searched all of the places I was comfortable recommending purchasing from and I was unable to find this mask.
This is the Lavina Green Tea Essence Mask. I could not find this mask on any of my trusted sites either.
We have a second Mamonde Flower Lab Essence Mask in the October Mask Mistress subscription box. This time the mask is Rose Moisturizing. This sheet mask, like the other one from this brand, is also available on both YesStyle and Amazon. On YesStyle you can purchase it individually for $3.51 each, and that is what I have linked to above. But you actually get your best value for this mask on Amazon where you can buy a five pack for just $11.00.
Because I couldn’t find a couple of the masks, and we have no book guide from NY KBeauty telling us the value of the mask, this will just be my best guess or a rough estimate of what I think this bag is worth had you bought all of these masks individually. I am not including any value on the samples sent because I don’t know if that is a regular occurrence and even if it is, this is supposed to be a sheet mask box. With that being said, my best estimate is this boxes value is $44.00.
Where To Sign Up: The Mask Mistress subscription is powered by Cratejoy, so you can find it along with many other subscription services on Cratejoy’s Website.
FinalThoughts: I think this box is a pretty decent value for this month. You are suppose to get ten masks, and they actually sent twelve. In what was sent there were three masks that I can’t use because of my allergy, but that is pretty typical from any mask subscription I have tried. And since they sent two extra masks, I can’t be too mad about it. I was exceptionally happy that there was only one mask in the whole pack that I had tried before, the whole point of getting a mask subscription for me is trying new things.
OtherSubscriptions Of Interest: I am adding this as a new section to these subscription box reviews. I am limited on how many I can do each year due to time and finances. I try to balance out what I review with what I am interested in enough to spend money on with what I think the majority of people might be interested in reading about. I am sure that the things I pick don’t suit everyone’s budget or needs, so I thought I would start adding a few recommendations of alternatives you might want to try if the one I review isn’t quite right for you.
So here are some similar subscriptions that may be of interest.
For the fourth and final week of August I was on vacation. I have been struggling with my health for a while, and just packing was a bit of an ordeal. So I decided to pack a little different from typical for me, and that included my skin care.
I decided the best strategy for me was to pack what was going to be both most compact and easiest to make sure I had everything. So I went with a selection of 3 in 1 masks to take with me. I did take a few more than I needed. I needed enough for a week and three days, I probably took enough for almost two weeks. I liked the idea of having options.
Two of the masks I already had in my collection, I believe they came in one of the many beauty subscription boxes I have tried. The rest I ordered off of Amazon in order to receive them in time for the trip.
Top middle I already had as well. It is a two in one mask from Wellage, specifically their Vitablue Injection Mask. It comes with an ampoule and a sheet mask. I got mine in a subscription box, though I do not remember which one. I have linked to Amazon because once again that is the only place I see them currently available out of the places I buy from.
Top right I purchased on Amazon. It is the Mediheal 3 Step R:NA Toning Sheet Mask Pack. It is available for purchase as a single or in a ten piece set. This set includes a pre-moistened cleansing gauze, a sheet mask, and a face cream. I did not see this one available at any of my other usual places to buy sheet masks.
Bottom left is a box of ten I bought on Amazon. It is the Americano 3-Step Facial Sheet from Skin7Teen. This set says it includes 1 toner and 1 ampoule, though I think they are essentially the same thing. And of course it includes a sheet mask. The toner and ampoule are for different areas of your face, so this can be very customizable. I personally did not use them in the spots the directions said because my oily areas and my dry areas are different from typically talked about. I have not seen this mask anywhere else I shop, though I think Beauteque sometimes has this brand.
And finally bottom right we have the last set I bought on Amazon. Each of the masks are different, but all are from the same brand. This is the Missha 3-Step Sheet Mask Set. You get five different masks with the set. You get one each of Brightening, Hydrating, Lifting, Nutrition, and Purifying. Just as the masks are different, what comes with them is too. Some of them have Peeling Gel Cleanser, a Toner, and a Sheet Mask. And the rest come with a Toner, a Sheet Mask, and a Face Cream. You can purchase these individually on YesStyle, but it is a much better value to purchase these in a set.
In addition to the sheet masks I took, I also had with me some items to supplement my skin care routine. I took mainly sample sizes along with a couple of travel size items. I took about four sample size packets of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser along with my Clarisonic Mia 2. Each packet of the cleanser is good for about 4 to 6 face washes. I typically use this with my Clarisonic for both cleansing and exfoliation in the shower a few times a week. But I used it for cleaning my face both morning and night, with and without the Clarisonic on this trip.
So this will technically be for more than just week four. This month gave us a another half of a week to work with, so rather than make a second post for half of a week I am combining this into one. This will conclude the challenge and be the last post.
If you have not seen the previous posts and would like to get caught up on what I have done so far this month you can check out Week One, Week Two, and Week Three.
This is one of those days that I stretched the rules. This isn’t a sheet mask, it is a hair mask. It’s the Purederm Jojoba Oil Shiny & Hydrating Hair Mask. This is really one of the best hair masks for anyone who has very dry hair. I bought mine on Beauteque’s website. They are currently sold out and I couldn’t find anywhere else that has it in stock currently. However Beauteque does still currently have their Honey Vital Radiance Hair Mask and the Chamomile Nourishing Repair Hair Mask. They sell for $4.99 at regular price. And for most people there will be enough for two to three applications in a packet.
This is the no:hj Aqua Soothing Mask Pack Hyaluronic Acid. I bought mine on Beauteque, but they don’t seem to have these anymore. I have linked you to YesStyle. It is safe to buy from there, but expect a long wait as they ship from China. And their price on this is a little high. Most of their prices are reasonable, but not on this. I had paid $1.90 for this through Beauteque. On YesStyle it is $4.75. And quite honestly, I like this mask fine, but it is nothing special. If you really want to try it go for it, but I would get something better for that price tag.
I received these in a Kira Kira Box from Japan Crate. I am not certain about the name because very little was in English on the package but I think it is from Graphic Co. It is a Heated Eye Mask. These are great in general. Very nice feeling when you are trying to fall asleep. I also like to use them for my dry eyes since my doctor wants me to use moist heat. These are so convenient. I can’t tell you where to get these, but you can find similar items on most websites that sell Korean skin care products.
This is the Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3 Step Kit. I liked this mask set. It left my lips feeling soft, but I don’t think the results were long enough lasting. The first step is like a wipe that helps wipe away the dead skin on your lips. The second is a hydrogel mask for your lips for immediate hydrating. And the third step is a honey sleeping mask for your lips. This costs $6.99 at regular price.
This is another item I received in the Kira Kira box from Japan Crate. If you are interested in trying this I see that they are available on YesStyle. It is the Sun Smile – Pure Smile Choosy Lip Pack (Peach). I didn’t really care for these. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, but they just were not nearly as good as the ones I have used previously. This sells for $3.60
This is the Deck of Women Collagen Crystal Eye Mask Eyelid Patch. These are one of my favorite eye masks that I have been using for the longest times. I feel like I see the biggest results from these and they are really reasonably priced. Get a 20 pack for just $9.99
This is the Koelf Hydro-gel Mask Pack – Pearl & Shea Butter. I tried to save the best for last. It definitely didn’t disappoint in performance. It felt great and made my skin so soft. I was very disappointed however that it tore on me. That is the first time a hydrogel mask has torn on me. This sells for $3.80 at regular price.
Today I have another subscription service review for you. I still have several more I will try to get reviewed before the end of November, so if anyone wants to get one as a Christmas present for someone they have plenty of time to do it. And don’t forget to check out my previous reviews of the So Choix Subscription and the Sephora Play Box if you haven’t already.
Service Name: Beauteque Mask Maven
Price: $13 – $15 a month, depending on how many months you pay for at once. And if you use my code KAREN you can save an additional 10% off your subscription. My discount code does not expire and can also be used on individual products.
Where Is It Available: Beauteque ships to the US, Canada, Europe (certain countries only), Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
Who To Get It For: Anyone who loves Korean Beauty or sheet masks. Or anyone who is interested in trying it out.
What You Get: Nine sheet masks of various types and brands. Though occasionally there is an extra thrown in.
Drawbacks: This really depends on your perspective. The only drawback I could think of is that you don’t have any say in what type of sheet masks you are getting. So if you have extremely sensitive skin like me there may be an occasional masks you can’t use. But for the general population they are all masks that should be good for all skin types.
The Details: I will share with you what came in my October 2016 Mask Maven subscription so you can get an idea of what to expect.
This is how your Mask Maven subscription will show up every month. It comes in a plain white bubble mailer with the Beauteque logo clearly marked on the envelope.
All of your masks are usually in one of these drawstring bags. And then you get one or two printed pages with it. This month there were two.
On one of the cards, the one you get every month, is a list of all the masks you got and how to use them. This can be especially important to keep because the mask themselves don’t always have English directions on them. It also lets you know what the theme for the month is. This month’s was theme was After Party Masquerade.
Occasionally you get these 30 day Mask Maven Challenge Callender with your order. There usually is special promotions associated with it on Beauteque’s social media. The calendar itself just helps you plan out the best way to space out using your masks in a 30 day period.
Here are all nine of the masks I received this month in my Mask Maven subscription. I will show you each of them up close below, as well as links to each.
This is the My Beauty Diary Roe (Caviar) Mask. It normally sells for $1.99 but is on sale for $1.00 for the month of November. Use this mask to restore a young, beautiful complexion.
This is the Ariul 7 Days Mask in Pomegranate. It normally sells for $1.99 and is on sell for $1.00 for the month of November. Use this mask to improves the general health and radiance of your skin. It also firms and improves skin elasticity.
This is the Ariul 7 Days Mask in Tea Tree. It is currently sold out on Beauteque’s website, check their website to see if it has been restocked. However, I am sure that it sells for the same price as the other masks from this brand, $1.99. This mask can be used for clearing up your complexion. It controls sebum without over-drying your skin.
This is the NOHJ Superfood Honey Mask. It is also currently sold out on Beauteque’s website. Based on prices for the other masks from this brand I would guess this sells for around $2.50. Use this mask for many things. Honey is good for moisturizing, soothing sensitive skin, and helping acne. And you can’t see this in the picture but the package is 3-D. It’s really cool packaging, and worth buying at least once just for that.
This is the Esfolio Bird’s Nest Essence Sheet Mask. It normally sells for $1.99 but is on sale for $1.00 for the month of November. This mask I have used previously, and if you have read any of my post about sheet mask then you know esfolio is one of my favorite brands. Use this mask to moisturize and brighten your skin.
This is the Tsaio Stayed Up Late Mask – Emily. It sells for $2.25. There were two of these in the bag this month. Use this mask to brighten and firm your skin. This is one of the ever popular black masks.
This is the Berrisom Horror Mask Skull – Black Rice. It sells for $3.00. Use this mask to provides elasticity, moisture, and health to skin. Plus these fun character mask have the bonus of making great Instagram and SnapChat pictures.
This is the Tony Moly I’m Real Mask Sheet in Tea Tree. It sells for $1.99 on Beauteque’s website. (I would like to point out that this same mask sells for $3.75 at a national retail chain. I’m not going to name names, you can figure it out easily enough. Just saying don’t overpay for these guys.) Use this mask for soothing your skin and to help combat blemishes.
Who Will Like This/Who Won’t: You will love this if you are a sheet mask addict who likes to discover new sheet mask or if you want to try new mask but don’t know where to start. This is probably not for the person who doesn’t like to try new things with their skin care.
In all honesty, the two subscriptions I get from Beauteque, are the ones I love the most. I love makeup and fun things that come in other subscription boxes, and I really love getting my other subscriptions. But trying Korean skin care through Beauteque and seeing the actual change in my skin, that is worth more than anything else to me. I have not had a painful outbreak from my allergy to Balsam of Peru in over two years now. I owe that to Beauteque and Korean skin care.
So tell me in the comments below if you have tried the Mask Maven Subscription before and what you thought about it if you have.
With many goals in life, you achieve the goal, you set your next goal, and you move on. But with things like positivity, self-confidence, and empowerment it doesn’t work that way. Just like anything that makes up who we are as a person, things fluctuate and change on a moment by moment basis. So to keep ourselves mentally healthy and strong, it is really a daily task.
I definitely have my days where I feel less than my best. I have my self doubts, old fears start creeping in, and negative messages get to me. Thankfully as the years have went by those moments have gotten fewer and fewer. I have found now that I am in my late thirties I am happier with who I am. I not only feel more confident in myself, but I just care less about what others think of me and my choices. And quite honestly, the prospects of my forties have me excited. I know a lot of people fear aging, but why? Your age will never hold you back from doing anything, only your mind will.
One of the main things that helps keep me motivated to do the blog is helping others. At this stage in my life there is no greater compliment that you could give me than telling me that I have inspired you or made your life better in some way. Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes to hear that someone finds them attractive from time to time, especially their spouse. But those kinds of compliments meant a lot more to me when I was younger.
I have had people tell me recently that they wish they could be brave like me. I honestly was kind of confused by this at first. Then as we chatted more I realized they were simply talking about the fact that I usually don’t wear sleeves in the summer. I will be honest here. It’s not bravery, its hot as balls in Kentucky in the summer and it’s certainly too hot to have to give a fuck what anyone else thinks about how my arms look. And if my arms or any other part of my fat self helps inspire anyone else to not give a flying fuck then I am elated. And I will be happy no matter what you think of me. If you think wow she looks fantastic, I really want to try out some of those same looks she wears, then that’s great. But I will be equally okay with you think wow what a fat cow, well if she can wear that then so can I. Either way the goal has been achieved to inspire someone to try something new.
While we are on the subject of blog content, I have been trying really hard despite personal issues and illnesses to get the blog on a schedule. I feel I am really happy with the direction I have it going in, and I hope that you as the readers are too. I certainly have felt like there has been a momentum growing from it since I implemented some of the changes at the beginning of the year. I want more than anything to build a safe community in which other women feel supported and where they feel like their opinions matters. I will always welcome any and all feedback from you. And I will do my best to always keep the trolls out. I have been lucky to not have been hit yet, but I know my day is coming.
I feel blessed that I have been able to work with such a great company on a continual basis like Beauteque. It’s really important to me that if I work with and promote any company here on the blog, outside of a general review, that it be a company that I thoroughly believe in.
Outside of the blog coming up next months will be mine and my husband’s third anniversary. It’s odd how it feels like it was both yesterday and forever ago at the same time. Like any couple we have some small bumps in the road, but we work on it daily. I love him as much now as I did the day I said I do. One good thing about our marriage is that we both truly believe that it’s not important whether you have conflict (because you will), but how you resolve those conflicts determine whether you can last. We are also really fortunate to have a fantastic supportive friends group that we consider family. You have seen a few of them here on the blog, and I am sure you will see them in the future too.
I think that pretty much covers where I am in life and what keeps me motivated. Do you blog? Let me know what you blog about and what helps keep you motivated.
Guess what time it is, that’s right it’s giveaway time!
I have been trying to do this giveaway all summer and now that I finally have everything in hand I finally can. If you have been with me for any amount of time you know I do a giveaway about once a year. The two previous years we have had a jewelry and accessories giveaway, and a cosmetics giveaway. This year is Korean skin care, which should come at no surprise. Just like previous years, this is not a sponsored giveaway. These items were all procured by me.
The entry to the giveaway will be open for two weeks, and you have many different ways to get entries to the giveaway. There are just a few rules this year. You may only win one prize. So if I draw your name as a winner and then draw your name again that second win will not be valid. US residents only may participate. I am sorry, I would like to include everyone, but since this is out my own pocket including the mailing cost I can not afford to send out packages over seas. You must be at least 18 years old to enter and win. The giveaway closes at 12:00 AM EST on 8/28. Winners will be contacted by 6 PM at the latest on 8/28, and they will have 2 days to respond before a new name is drawn. All prizes will be mailed out on 9/4.
So now that we know how its going to work this year, lets take a look at what we all are here for:
Prize Pack #1:
June’s BB Bag from Beauteque. – I got an extra BB Bag for June just for this giveaway, and its a good one too. Every month’s BB Bag has a theme, and June’s was “Beauteque’s Beauty Treats – Desert For Your Skin”. As you can see one item didn’t fit in the bag, and that is the super popular Black Sugar Mask from Skinfood. But that bag is filled with other great items. I am not going to list them because if you don’t already get this service I don’t want to spoil it for you. Half the fun is opening the bag and finding out what all the surprises are.
Prize Pack #2
The person who wins this pack gets a full size Lemon D-TOC Peeling Gel from Secret Key as well as a large pack of masks that I picked out. These are all some of my favorite masks of all time, some of which I haven’t been able to find recently.
The masks included are :
MediHeal Ade Cacao
Mediheal Pumpkin-ade Mask
Esfolio Milk Essence Mask Sheet
Esfolio Banana Essence Mask Sheet
Esfolio Egg Essence Mask Sheet
Freeset Donkey Milk Hydrogel Mask Pack – Aqua
Skinfood Beauty In A Food Mask – Rice
Skinfood Beauty In A Food Mask – Black Bean
PureDerm Vital Radiance Hair Mask – Honey
PureDerm Vital Radiance Hair Mask – Jojoba Oil
Prize Pack #3
The person who wins this pack gets a full size Lemon D-TOC Peeling Gel from Secret Key, a full size All Day Fine Pore Toner from Scinic, and a selection of popular sheet masks from Korea.
The sheet masks included are:
Tony Moly I’m Real Mask Sheet – Lemon
The Face Shop Intense MasCream Sheet – Brightening
Esfolio Red Ginseng Essence Mask Sheet
FaceQ Pearl Brightening Mask Individual
Tsaio Green Tea Whitening Mask Sheet
Tsaio Deep Moisturizing Mask Sheet
To enter just sign into the Rafflecopter just below here. Only the first item is mandatory to enter. Everything else is optional to receive bonus entries. Good luck everyone.
* There seems to be some confusion for a couple of folks. The area to leave a blog post comment is at the very bottom of the page, not in the rafflecopter box. In the raffle copter box you just need to type something like yes or done to identify that you did the task. If there isn’t a comment on the actual page your entry won’t count.
I mentioned the other day that I would have several upcoming posts involving Beauteque, and this is one that I am very excited to do. I am very happy to be included in the Beauteque Beauties that are helping to announce the rebranding of Beauteque. From today forward they will be Beauteque: Your Mask Market Place
With this rebranding, they aren’t just changing the name. No there is big changes in the works for the whole company. The biggest change I think is implied with the name. Yes, the focus is turning more towards the masks. They will offer over 500 masks on the website. The options will vary from Korean beauty classics to the latest trends on the market. Here is just a sampling of the ones they carry that I plan on testing out.
There will be a new product filter for masks so you can narrow down your search list to suit your needs. You will be able to filter mask searches by ingredient, brand, mask type, mask fabric, and skin concern.
Increased Customer Service. There will now be Live Chat Services and opportunities to speak with a skin consultant to help you learn more about your own skin or to help you find the right mask for you.
Mask Sets! Beauteque will be offering lots of mask sets. There will be a large variety of sets to choose from including some based on skin concern, theme, specific lines from a brand, and more. They want to make mask shopping an exciting an cost effective experience.
They will have lots of deals going on, so make sure you check them out at beauteque.com
This is such exciting news, and by the looks of the new masks they are adding everyone is in for a grand treat. I’m sure the Mask Maven Subscription can only get better because of this change. I look forward to sharing all of the great information they are send my way, and I hope all of you are excited too.
For those of you who are BB Bag subscribers, don’t worry. It is my understanding that those are not going anywhere. I think even us Beauteque Beauties that had a little heads up were quick to ask that one. We all love our BB Bags, at least I know I do. If anything changes I will make sure to update you guys.
Over the month of July look for various updates and reviews of the masks here on the blog and on my other various social media accounts. And if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below or message me. And as Always, don’t forget you can save 10% on anything you order from Beauteque by using my coupon code KAREN.
As you all know I am a Beauteque Beauty, which is essentially the same thing as a brand ambassador. Over the next few months you will probably see more happening with them here on the blog and with my various social media. Some things may be sponsored, some not. I will make sure you know either way. But one of the things that has started to happen with the program is some of the awesome information they are sharing with us about products and the companies that make the products. They are also bringing out some great promotions. So I wanted to make sure to share some of this with my readers, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
For the month of July Beauteque will be featuring a product from a brand called Purpletale. BB Bag subscribers will receive one of Purpletale’s travel-friendly packs in that month’s “Destination: Beauty” themed BB Bag. (sign-ups close July 15)! Don’t forget, if you sign up you can use my coupon code KAREN to get 10% off your purchase, even subscriptions.
You also have the opportunity to win one of these packs through Beauteques Instagram contest. Just go to their Instagram account, follow them and look for the contest.
Now for the info you all want to know, the who what and wheres about Purpletale.
So who has tried this brand before? Did you enjoy it? Let us know your experience with Purpletale in the comments below. Also, I would love to know what you think of this sort of brand spotlight. Are you interested in finding out more about the Korean companies and what their products are about?
This is part 2 of the what and why my skin care changed series. In this part I will talk about my current skin care routine and how its different from last year when I posted about How I Was Caring For My Skin. Some things have stayed the same, but a lot has changed and I am really putting a lot more time into my skin. And as I mentioned in Part 1 I am trying to take my skin care routine closer to a traditional Korean routine, or at least as close to one as I can get that works for my skin. I am getting closer, but not quite there yet.
Before I started even writing this, I thought since I had a new camera that takes better pictures it would be great to show you pictures of my own actual products that I use instead of inserting pictures from manufactures. I wanted to include at least one large group picture of it all. So I gathered up all of my skincare and I took this picture.
And then after I took all of my photos, put everything away, loaded the photos onto my computer, and edited the photos I realized I forgot to include these products:
Insert cartoon sound effects here. Waa waa waa……..photo fail. But I am totally laughing at myself because this is the story of my life.
So before we actually go over the products, lets talk about my actual routine. I feel like my night time routine is the one that is the most intense and most actual routine, so lets start there.
Night Time Routine
Step 1. If I have makeup on, I use eye makeup remover pads to remove the eye makeup. And I sometimes will lightly swipe them across my face to start the process of removing the rest of my makeup. I don’t wear makeup every day, so this is definitely a optional step for me.
Step 2. First cleanser. For me I use my foaming cleanser in this step. I know this is the step a lot of people would use either their oil based cleanser or their water free liquid cleanser, but that doesn’t work for me. I have tried several oil cleansers at this point and all that I have tried have irritated my skin. I wouldn’t go so far to say that they caused an allergic reaction, but my skin definitely didn’t like it. My skin does quite well with foam cleansers, but I do find they often leave me a little dry feeling, so this is why I decided to use it first. This may change in the future, and you need to pay attention to your own skins needs when choosing your own routine.
Step 3. Second cleanser. This is where I use my no water cleanser. I have been using one that has an aloe base, so it is moisturizing at the same time that it cleanses. Since the foam cleansers seem to be a little drying, its nice using this one second to put some moisture back into my skin. If I used it first I feel it would be pulled back out by the other cleanser.
Step 4. Toning. It took me a little while to get on board with this step. The last time I had used a toner was in my late teens and it was an American brand. It essential was all alcohol and some sort of acne treatment. I think a lot of people in the US are familiar with this sort of idea of a toner. But Korean toners are a lot different. It is actually very soothing if you choose one with the right ingredients. It is meant to open the pores and make your skin receptive to soaking in the next healthy ingredients you are about to put on it.
Step 5. Now this is where it becomes a little more tricky because I don’t do the same thing for step five every night. Five nights a week I use some sort of sheet mask, I use a variety of different ones. I just try and pick something each night that I feel treats how my skin is feeling that day. On the alternative two days I use either some combination of Ampoules, Essenses, and Serums. Again, I try to choose based on how my skin is feeling and reacting that day.
Step 6. Eye treatment. At this point I will use either an eye serum or eye cream.
Step 7. Moisturizing. You guessed it, this is where I use my moisturizer.
Step 8. Sleeping Mask. This step is only done once or twice a week. In case you are not familiar with Sleeping Masks they are more like a deep moisturizer that goes over everything else you did to seal it in. You sleep in it and wash it off in the morning.
Day Time Routine
My day time skin care routine is far less routine and I do what fits my schedule and needs.
When I first wake up:
Step 1. I wash my face using either the foaming cleanser or the no water cleanser to wake up my face.
Step 2. I use an eye cream.
Step 3. I put on a moisturizer.
Nothing too elaborate when I just get up.
When I take a shower: (most of these steps are all interchangeable and only happen a couple of times a week or so)
Step 1. This step really only happens on an as needed basis. Usually once or twice a week. Before getting in the shower I use a peeling gel on my face and a lip scrub. I use them before the shower so they can just be washed off in the shower.
Step 2. This step is the only one that is a definite that it will happen every time I get in the shower. I use my Daily exfoliating scrub on my face.
Step 3. I use my gel cleanser with my Sonic cleanser to deep clean my skin. This happens about three to four times a week.
Step 4. When I get out of the shower I use my toner.
Step 5. If I feel I need it I work in a serum or essence. Or if I have a sample of a beauty oil I might try it.
Step 6. Eye Cream
Step 7. Moisturize
So now lets talk about the actual products that I am using. Lets start by breaking it down into categories.
The sonic brush I use is the Clarisonic Mia 2. I use it with the gel cleanser listed below. While it is used with a cleanser, it does provide a deep cleaning that is much more like an exfoliation. How often and which brush head you use with it depends on your needs and skin type. This is one of the items I was using last year, but the amount that I use it has changed. I was previously using this one to two times a day, and now I am only use it about three to four times a week.
The peeling gel I use is the one in the front laying down. It is the PureDerm Clean & Fresh Peeling Gel. Peeling gels are a gel like consistency obviously. You take a small amount and rub them on the skin. As you do they start to exfoliate and ball up the gathered dead skin. Its quick and leaves your skin feeling baby soft. I have tried several peeling gels, and I like this one the best out of what I have tried. First the products consistency gives the best results. Some peeling gels are so thick that you end up having to grab double the product to get the same results. This one is a nice thinner, but not watery consistency. It spreads well and works quickly. Also it just has a nice clean scent, not heavily fragranced like some.
The daily facial scrub I use is the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. This was also a product I was using last year. This works well for me. I am open to trying other scrubs, and I have tried many over the years, but this has worked the best for me so far. And I know a lot of people are concerned about micro beads right now. There is no worries about that with this scrub.
My lip scrub that I have been using is Bite Beauty’s Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub. I most likely will not be staying with this one. It is not horrible, and I definitely don’t have a bad reaction to it, but it just isn’t doing the job for me. I have recently ordered a couple of lip scrubs from Beauteque to try. Don’t be surprised if you see a product review or pic on my Instagram soon.
The foaming cleanser I am currently using, and have been for the last six months is the Happy Bath Natural Facial Yogurt Foam in Fruit Essence. I like this one, and it works well, but I don’t feel married to it. I am open to trying other brands. I think foam cleansers seem pretty standard to me. I have had some bad ones in the past, but not found any that wow me yet.
The no water cleanser, pictured on the right, is one of the earlier non-mask items I tried. I have tried other brands, and may try some more in the future. But this one is so amazing, and is great for sensitive or dry skin, I can’t imagine switching. This is from Artium its their 91% Aloe No Cleanse Water. I bought this on Beauteque’s Website, however its not currently available on there. They may put it back up, but until then a similar product I was considering trying is Nature Republic Ginkgo Wash Free Cleansing Water, you might want to give it a try as I have heard great things about it.
My gel cleanser I use with my Sonic Brush is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I really love the way this cleanser leaves my skin feeling, and it has a nice clean pleasant smell. It just smells like fresh cucumbers to me, not in a perfume kind of, but actual fresh cucumbers. However, I have heard a handful of people say they don’t like the way this smells and that it has a different scent to them, more like rotten pickles. I am really not sure what is making for the difference in scents people are smelling, but you will have to judge for yourself.
I only have one toner that I am currently using. It is The Face Shop’s Rice Ceramide Moisture Toner. Again I got this through Beauteque, but they don’t seem to have it on their site at the moment. I have tried several toners at this point. Again this is a product that I don’t feel tied to like I do some. They have some new toners on their site that look really interesting, and if you are looking to try a new toner you might want to give them a try too. There is the Tony Moly Goat Milk Moisture Toner and the Hanaka Camellia Hyaluronic Acid Moist Toner.
These are by far my favorite part of my skincare routine. Its like having a little mini spa moment in your own home, and there is such a variety to target all sorts of areas and problems. I use a lot of different ones and constantly try new ones because I subscribe to Beauteque’s Mask Maven Subscription Service. Often I find new masks or new brands that work really well for my skin and then I purchase the ones I like to use on a more regular basis.
So pictured above are some of my favorite masks that I use the most often. All are masks that I have discovered through the Mask Maven service and then repurchased. From left to right:
MediHeal Ade Cocao – This one does so much so here is the description from the website; This is a skin purifying mask that changes your skin to be clean and soft. Its purifying effect with the cacao extract and coffee extract are excellent for sebum control and pore tightening. Raw cocoa is an anti-oxidant that helps to fight free radicals. The ingredients also provide hydration to the skin. The natural cellulouse tencel sheets are highly dermotropic and fixed easily on skin. They are helpful for sensitve skin care and deliver the effects of enriched-essence softly.
Esfolio Volcanic Ash Essence Sheet Mask – For getting rid of texture on the skin. This one is not currently available on the website, but I also highly recommend any of the esfolio sheet masks. I use several other ones, this is just my favorite one for me.
I have used and tried more than just these three items, but these are the ones that are actually part of my routine now.
This first one isn’t technically a ampoule, essence or a serum. It falls more into the category of a face oil, but I am putting it here because I feel the concept is still the same for what it does. I am using the Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment. I have used this some at night, but this tends to get used more during the day. I think out of everything I have tried it does the best under makeup because it has a slightly tacky feeling on the skin, sort of like a primer would. I like this over a more traditional face oil because its less oily feeling a more of a creamy texture. The regular oil from this brand is too heavy and leaves my skin feeling oily all day.
Next you have the Milky Dress Peach Essence. I purchased this from Beauteque, but they don’t seem to have it at the moment. It is great for treating sensitive skin with redness. You can look for when it comes back in stock on Beauteque’s Milky Dress Product Page. I use this one both equally day and night, just depending on when I feel I need it.
I am also currently using the Scinic Honey All in One Ampoule. This is one of those lazy day products that are great for your skin. What I mean by lazy day, well as implied by all in one it takes the place of more than one thing. So you can use it to substitute for toner, lotion, essense, or all three. So usually on the nights I use this (and I do strictly use this one at night since the consistency is very thick and sticky) I wash my face, put some of this on, and then I moisturize and call it a day. It is used for irritated skin or if you are acne prone skin.
Eye Creams and Serums
I would say this is the one area I was previously lacking in. I was not doing anything to take care of my eye area and it shows. It is the one are where I can really start to see the signs of aging. So now I am making sure to take extra care to use good products to take care of that area.
In the morning or anytime I cleanse my skin before doing my makeup I use the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream. I haven’t been using this one super long, but I was impressed with it enough after using the sample just a couple of times to make it a permanent part of my routine. You can definitely feel it wake your eyes up, and there is a visible difference when it goes on. I think there is something in the formula that must help reflect the light in a way so as to make the under eye area appear different.
Then at night I am alternating between two products. I don’t know that I feel tied to either of these. One is a serum and one is a moisture cream. For the longer amount of time I have been using the Clinique All About Eyes Cream. I don’t dislike it so much as I am not sure its doing as much as it should for me.
But I also recently received the Etre Belle Golden Skin Caviar Eye Gel in one of the many subscription boxes I receive. I think this one might have came out of Glossybox. I have gotten a lot of great products from Glossybox, but I am still deciding how I feel about this one. Sometimes I feel like I can see a difference and other times I can’t, but its only been a few weeks.
First up I use the LadyKin Elmaju Natural Broccoli Super Brightening Cream during the day time. It is a brightening cream that has almost a color correcting effect to it, so I like using it under my makeup. When you read about it, the description will say it whitens, but often with Koren/Asian products there is a translation issue and the words whitening and brightening are interchangeable. So don’t worry, there is no bleach in this face cream.
At night I use either the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief or the Moisture Surge Intense For Very Dry To Dry Combination Skin. Both work great, but I have a slight preference for the Moisture Surge Intense. I use whichever Sephora happens to have in stock at the time, they always seem to be out of one or the other at my local Sephora. I think the one I have in the picture is the Moisture Surge Extended. These are really intense moisturizers in a gel like consistency. They have an almost cooling sensation when you put them on. This is one of the products I doubt I will ever change. Last year I was using a Clinique Moisturizer, but I was not using this one. I was using the anti redness one. I do still occasionally use it, but with my new skincare routine its just not as necessary anymore.
About two nights a week I additionally use a night mask. I use Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. I love the way this one makes my skin look and feel when I wake up. My skin always feels so soft and smooth after using it.
Lip Balms and Masks
My lips stay dry constantly no matter what I do. So I try to stick with the better products that I have found, and I use even heavier mask ones at night.
So when I finish my skincare regimen morning and at night I put on this Catnip – Natural Lip Balm from Wild Rose Herbs. Yes you read that right, it is a catnip lip balm. I actually got this lip balm for the first time when I use to subscribe to the Cat Lady Box (I will save that story for another time). The tube reads: “Herbacious, fresh, and minty. May cause Kitty Snuggles.” Well in all honesty it should read will cause kitty kisses. My cats are already prone to trying to give kitty kisses, but when I have this on and they are near they will practically leap on me to give me kitty kisses. But that isn’t why I have continued to use it, because that’s really only funny the first couple of times. Its really one of the best quality everyday use lip balms I have found. Yeah I have tried some treatment type lip balms like the ones from fresh that are slightly better, and I do use those some. However these are $3.95 versus the $26 price tag on the Fresh brand.
At night right before I am about to go to sleep I use the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. It is a more intense moisturizer. You can use it during the day, but I don’t like how thick it is for daytime use. But I do love how much moisture it puts in my lips on the nights I use it. I try to use it every night, but I forget sometimes or there have been times I travel and don’t take it with me.
So as you can see there are a lot of changes and additions to my skin care routine, but there are still a few old faithful products that have stuck in there. I definitely know that I am on the right track though because my skin has never looked or felt this good in my whole life. In the last nine months I have have had only two flare ups of my contact dermatitis, and they were so mild compared to the past. One was related to something I ate and the other was being around someone with a perfume on I had a reaction too. Those of you that follow me on Instagram or happen to be Facebook friends with me on my personal account see a lot of the pictures I post of me using my various skin care products or the makeup looks I do. But I have to say, one of the pictures that I have taken that have made me happiest is this one:
It makes really proud I suppose, to say this is me with no makeup and no filter. I’m 38 years old and I think I look damn good for 38. Korean skincare saved my skin and made my life quality better in so many ways. I wish I had a picture to show you of how bad my skin looked in the past, but it wasn’t until my skin started looking better that I realized how much I avoided the camera on days my skin was the worst and I didn’t have makeup on.
As I told you before when it comes to the products at Beauteque, that is where I buy, and where I have been buying since before I became one of their social beauties. If you want to use my discount code and help me out great, you can get 10% off your order with the code KAREN. So just my name in all capitals. But if you don’t want to use my code that is fine too, but do yourself and your skin a favor and try their products.
I like hearing from my readers. Have you tried Korean skincare? If so did it help you? Have you tried Beauteque?
I have mentioned in a post or two my involvement with Beauteque, and have hinted at an upcoming post. So this is a little past due. And of course if you started following me on Instagram then you have seen some of the products I have been using. This post is a two parter about how I came to be involved with Beauteque and promoting them, and what my current skincare routine is. It is two parts because 1. there is no way to fully explain either of those two parts without the other, and 2. if I tried to combine them into one, it would be unbearably long to read.
So lets start with how I first come to hear about Beauteque. I, like a lot of other people, watch youtube videos. I watch a lot of makeup tutorials. I also watch some unboxing videos, especially if I am considering a new subscription box to try. I like to see what is in their past boxes and see if I think its worth the price for me. So as I was watching some unboxing videos it recommended that I might like one by a YouTuber named victoria donelda. And here is the video I watched:
After I watched that I was intrigued because I had heard about Korean skin care and beauty a little bit, but I hadn’t really made any major efforts to find any. And honestly I didn’t know where you could get it in the US at the time other that Sephora, and it seemed so expensive there. I definitely think skin care is worth spending money on if it works, but as I have talked about many times it is really tricky for me due to my Balsam of Peru Allergy. Laying down premium money for something I may not be able to use is not something I like to do. So hearing that there was a Subscription service, I thought hey maybe I should give it a try. I had just given up a couple subscription boxes I didn’t really like that well, and I was looking for something new to try.
For me subscription boxes, especially when it comes to skincare and makeup that are new brands to me, are a good route to go. They are usually set up where you get a good sample of a variety of things and it comes with cards that explain the products. And usually the price is better than if you bought it all individually. So I looked at their website and found they had not one, but two subscription services. They have the first one that was shown in the video called the BB Bag and then they have one where you strictly get different types of masks called Mask Maven. Clicking on the links will take you to see what was in a past months bag.
The BB Bag runs $24 a month and you get 6 to 8 full sized products as well as a cosmetic bag. The Mask Maven is $15 a month and you get 9 to 11 masks of various types. And if anyone was looking for their Head to Toe Box, I am sorry but they fazed those out some time last year. After looking over Beauteque’s website and viewing several other unboxing videos of their subscription services I decided to sign up for both services. Quite honestly what I really thought would happen is I would sign up and get them for a couple of months. I thought I would maybe end up at best with one or two products that I could use, and the rest would be put to the side to use as gifts for various people. Because 90% of the subscription services I have tried, that is what happens. However that was almost a year ago, and now I could not imagine giving up my subscriptions.
I started out with just those subscriptions, and I tentatively tried a few items at a time. It was kind of a relief the first few times I used a sheet mask and didn’t have a bad reaction. I was really worried because the packages do say they have fragrance, and that is usually a big no for me. What I have since learned is that fragrance in Korean beauty is very different from fragrance in the US. The best example I can give you is this. Think of your favorite fruit and what it smells like. Now think of the perfume version or lotion that might be sold here at a store like Bath and Body works. It always has that heavy chemical smell doesn’t it? But Korean products almost smell like the actual item, and most likely its because most of their skincare is actually made from the real item instead of some chemical process.
But obviously, using a product and it not causing a bad reaction is not enough to keep using something. What I did notice was each time I used a sheet mask my skin would look or feel a little better than my normal for a few days. So I started becoming more interested and really put some effort into researching Korean Skincare and Beauty products. It was really decision time, did I want to continue getting products and experimenting with them, or did I want to cancel my subscription?
Thee first thing I looked closer at was the actual company I was buying from, Beauteque. I started by digging around on their website. And I have to say, after reading How Beauteque Was Started, I was impressed and felt a bit of a connection to the company.
So I did some more research and one of the the things I can across was the graphic you see to your left on Pinterest (you can click on the picture to see it larger, or follow the links to the articles below to see it explained). I have since seen several graphics that are similar, but I still think this one is the best for a beginner.
I had essentially decided that I was going to start adding more items in a little at a time, and giving an Asian beauty routine a try. There was really only one problem, I fully admit that while I knew a lot about makeup, I was a bit skincare illiterate. I feel like I had always tried to take care of my skin with the basics. That for me was cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. And of course I knew that there were items available for wrinkles, but I hadn’t really felt I was there yet. Looking back at a year ago, I feel a little clueless.
I did start adding products in right away. I won’t talk about what in this article, that will be covered in part two. But what I added in the immediate were the things I was more familiar with. One of the things I had no clue about was Essences and Serums. I had noticed that some of the sheet masks that I had been using said they contained them, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. So my search to find out what they were lead me to this video:
I immediately became hooked to this ladies videos. If you are interested in Korean skincare and you want some of the science behind it or a just a decent explanation of the hows and whys of the products, the you should subscribe to Gothamista’s Channel on YouTube.
Over the next few months I started adding various products to use. I feel like I have my skincare routine now about 80% to where I want it. I am still learning and trying things. My skin has made such drastic improvements, I didn’t even think were possible for me. I feel like a whole new world has been opened up for me, and I am so thankful for it. And so when Beauteque sent out an email offering the opportunity to become a part of their new Social Beauty program, I jumped at the chance.
As I had mentioned in a post a few months back (and this was just a couple of weeks before this offer happened) I was looking for ways to help add income to our household so I could keep the blog going too. So I kind of felt like that if I do get any kind of earnings from promoting them it was a amazing opportunity since I had already been doing some post on my own personal Facebook page about how wonderful these products were. To maybe earn some money for something I was already doing, and its something that might actually help someone else, I was definitely on board.
So I want to be completely up front with everyone, like always. Yes I am affiliated with the company now. However any of the products you see me posting about are products I bought myself because I actually buy from them and believe in them. They have made a real difference in my life. I had been buying and using their products a full eight months before signing up to be affiliated with the company.
How it works for me is I have a coupon code, which is my name KAREN in full caps. When you use it on Beauteque’s Website you receive 10% your complete order including sale items and subscription services. On their website you can not stack coupons, so you have to figure out which one works best for you obviously. So sometimes you may go to the site and see they have a coupon code that is for 15% off something or for a free item with purchase. So the advantage with my coupon code is being able to use it even on sale items, because many of the other codes do not let you do that. However if you prefer to use one of the other codes, but you would like to still show me support, I still can receive credit for referring you if you type my code into the comment box when you are checking out. And because I also know some people feel funny about using coupon codes for whatever reason, you do not have to give me credit at all. But if you have severe problems with your skin like I have had all my life, I highly recommend giving some products a try. Give it 30 days and just see if it makes a difference.
I don’t think this is necessary to say for most people, but let me just put this out there, everything stated in this article is of my own opinion. I am not a doctor, so please do not take my opinion as anything more than an opinion. I deal with a serious allergy, but I do not have symptoms as bad as a lot of people, so I have more freedom to try new things to see what works for me. Even with these products I still carefully read the ingredients and avoid any of the natural ingredients I would typically be allergic to like lavender essential oil. If you are dealing with a serious allergy, please don’t take my word for it, consult with your doctor before trying anything.
Now that that is said, I want to hear from those of you who have tried Korean skin care, or even Beauteque. What have your experiences been? Have you had improvements in your skin as well? Do you do a typical Asian skin care routine or are you trying to build up to it? Have you tried anything from Beauteque? What were your thoughts?